's direct offline stores will increase to more than 800 next year, more than doubling the current number, according to local media.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) is tentatively targeting sales of 800,000 units next year, local media outlet LatePost reported today.

That would surpass 's sales in its tenth year in China, where the US electric vehicle (EV) maker sold 740,000 units last year, the report noted.

Li Auto's three current models -- the Li L7, Li L8, and Li L9 -- are all extended-range electric vehicles (EREVs), essentially plug-in hybrids.

On June 17, Li Auto announced at its inaugural Family Technology Day that its first battery electric vehicle (BEV), expected to be released by the end of 2023, was officially named Li Mega.

Li Auto said at the time that it was confident that the Li Mega would be the number one selling vehicle for all passenger cars priced at RMB 500,000 and above, regardless of energy form or body style.

With the upcoming release of this BEV, Li Auto will change its previous caution on channel expansion, LatePost said.

Li Auto's direct offline stores will increase to more than 800 in the next year, and it is already in the process of selecting sites for new stores, according to the report.

As of June 30, Li Auto had 331 retail stores, 323 service centers and Li Auto-authorized body and paint stores, according to data it released July 1.

Of the more than 400 new stores the company will add in the next year, a large portion will be larger stores with test-drive, delivery and after-sales capabilities, according to LatePost.

Li Auto hopes these larger, more functional stores will help increase sales conversions and increase the brand's reach, according to the report.

Li Auto aims to reach annual sales of 1.6 million vehicles and annual revenue of RMB 500 billion ($70 billion) by 2025, Li Xiang, the company's founder, chairman, and CEO, wrote on Weibo on June 21.

Li Auto delivered 133,246 vehicles last year, up 47.25 percent year-on-year. In the first half of this year, Li Auto delivered 139,117 vehicles, up 130.31 percent year-on-year, surpassing last year's full-year deliveries.

On June 26, 36kr reported that Li Auto had raised its sales target for 2023 to 400,000 units from the original 300,000 units. However, this was subsequently denied by the company.

Li Auto's capabilities including product, sales, capacity, and organization cannot support sales of 400,000 units this year and the gap is huge, Li said on June 27.

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